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Utah Personal Injury Attorney Scores Big Wins for Utah Consumers Trying to Get Medical Records

March 11, 2024
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Getting medical records when you’ve been injured in a car accident can be tough. But, Utah Personal Injury Attorney, Jake Lee, has helped make that process a little easier. Jake sits on the legislative committee for the Utah Association for Justice and has written and worked to pass legislation for the past three years to improve consumer access to medical records.

Timely Production

Before these amendments were made, it took 90+ days to get medical records despite their being a statutory requirement to provide the records within 30 days. This became incredibly frustrating because no matter how hard we tried or how much we tried to communicate, getting records within the required time frame almost never occurred. The medical providers just had no incentive to comply. As a result, we amended UCA 78B-5-618 to put a 50% reduction on the cost of producing records for failure to produce records within 30. If the records are still not produced within 60 days, the medical provider is required to waive any fee associated with producing the records. This alone has made a real difference in the response time.

Third Party Fulfillment Database

One of the contributing causes to the delay was that many medical providers use a third-party service to fulfill medical record requests. Instead of sending the request directly to the fulfilment group, consumers and their attorneys were required to send the request to the medical provider to forward on to the fulfillment group. This created a middleman who often forgot to forward the request or did so in an untimely manner.

To solve this problem, we amended UCA § 78B-5-618 to require medical providers to disclose who their third party fulfillment group is and how to contact them directly. As a result, a database was created by the Utah Division of Professional Licensing so that anyone can access this information at any time.  This change has resulted in a much faster response to our requests because the people who do the work get the requests directly.

Too Many HIPAA Forms

Another problem we faced was the number of HIPAA forms that existed. Each medical provider had their own. As a result, if you received treatment from U of U, Intermountain, and Mountain Star clinics, you had to get 3 different HIPAA releases to obtain your records. You could not send a general release to all three providers. So, we amended UCA § 26B-8-514 to direct the Utah Department of Health to create a single HIPAA form and then amended UCA 78B-5-618 so that all medical providers were required to accept this form.

Cost of Medical Records

Finally, the cost of medical records in some cases was mind boggling. Jake recalls receiving a box of 10,000 pages of records and a bill for $2,000 just for the cost of printing and paper even though the records were requested to be produced in an electronic format. The first question was, why didn’t they just put this in a pdf and email it to us, and second, why should the medical provider or third-party fulfillment group be able to charge $2,000 if the records were produced electronically. The paper and ink alone would not cost half the charged amount.

In truth, the vast majority of medical providers keep their records electronically because it’s faster, cheaper, and more efficient for them to do it that way. The days of going to a storage bunker to sift through boxes of records to find a patient’s chart were long gone. Today, medical providers electronically search for patients and with the click of a button are able to pull up and produce a patient’s entire chart in just a few seconds. So, the fact that they were sending records in paper was a ploy to be able to charge more for producing records than it cost them. Even more troubling was that they were making a lot of money for something that took virtually no time to do and were doing so off records that were owned by their patients.

In response to this significant injustice, we amended UCA § 78B-5-618 to require medical providers and third-party fulfillment groups to provide records in an electronic format if that it how they were requested. In addition, we were successful in placing a cap of $150 for electronic records, regardless of the number of pages that were produced.


As a result of these legislative wins, it is much easier and much cheaper to obtain medical records for your personal injury case, than it was three years ago. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you are feeling overwhelmed by the process, you don’t have to go through it alone. The Utah Personal Injury Attorneys at True North Injury Law have a wealth of experience and expertise that can help you chart your way out of the chaos. Give us a call at 801-849-3664 to schedule your free consultation.

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